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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

California Revises Policy on Mentally Ill Inmates

By Erica Goode
The New York Times
August 2, 2014

Here is an excerpt:

The increasing number of mentally ill prisoners in prisons and jails across the country — in 2013, mentally ill prisoners made up just over 28 percent of California’s prison population — has raised questions about their treatment in corrections systems poorly equipped to deal with psychiatric symptoms. Mentally ill inmates, whose challenging behavior often leads to their placement in solitary confinement, are frequent targets for a cell extraction — the forcible removal of an inmate from a cell by a tactical team equipped with Tasers, pepper spray or other less-lethal weapons — or for other uses of force by guards.

Judge Karlton, in his April order, ruled that the use of force and lengthy solitary confinement of seriously mentally ill inmates was unconstitutional and ordered the department to revise its policies.

The entire article is here.